The Bombay High Court is likely to hear a plea against the Superintendent of Arthur Road Jail, Nitin Wayachal, and the state Inspector General of Prisons, Sunil Ramanand, for alleged negligence in handling situation related to Covid-19 outbreak in jails and being responsible for the plight of prisoners infected with coronavirus there.
The petition, filed by activist Harrison D’Mello through advocate Subodh Pathak, stated state prisons department on April 9 had ordered a complete lockdown of the prisons where coronavirus situation was at the peak and accordingly a few prisons, including Arthur Road Jail, Byculla Central Prison, and Yerawada Central Prison, were completely locked down.
The petitioner claimed that the Arthur Road Jail officials, however, did not follow orders of the authorities by which they were directed not to open doors of the prisons unless ordered by the state government. D’Mello further claimed that no action was taken against these officials despite several letters written by him.
On June 8, the state government had informed the high court that 158 prisoners had tested positive for coronavirus at Arthur Road Jail last month, of whom 60 had again tested positive on June 5.
D’Mello sought from the state government to file a complaint against the jail officials. The plea also sought directions from the court to the authorities to take measures to contain the outbreak in Arthur Road jail and grant compensation to the infected persons and victims.
The court is likely to hear the plea Friday along with other pleas seeking reliefs for inmates.
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